In 2011, the producers at Kyoto Animation and Pony Canyon decided to re-unite the staff from the hit series K-On! for an original production. Through many changes during the planning process, the final version became a show about the daughter of a mochi shopowner in a little shopping district. Tamako Market had little promotion before its initial running of January-March 2013, only a few magazine articles and commericals promoted the show. It failed to catch fire like the previous show from the staff, but it wasn’t for a lack of love towards the characters. In 2014, a sequel film, Tamako Love Story was produced. Following that release and the popularity of the film, KyoAni and Pony Canyon decided to re-release the series in a Blu-ray box. This review covers said box of the show published by Kyoto Animation and the Usagiyama Shopping Street.
In 2013, Ayano Takeda wrote a novel based on her and her friends’ experiences in concert band/wind music called Sound! Euphonium: Welcome to the North Uji High School Concert Band. This was her second novel published after she won the Japan Love Novel award for her manuscript Today, We Breathed Together. Takeda’s novel caught the attention of two producers at Kyoto Animation (Eiharu Oohashi and Riri Senami). They approached the publisher for the rights to adapt it into an anime and, after partnering with Pony Canyon, Lantis, and Rakuonsha, they began airing it in April 2015. This review covers the first Japanese Blu-ray volume of the show published by Kyoto Animation and the Hibike Production Partners.
The television anime series Tamako Market aired from January until March 2013. Though it was a pleasantly charming series, the director of the show, Naoko Yamada, felt she wasn’t done with the franchise once the final episode was finished. One of the interesting points of the TV show was that it focused around the main character, Tamako Kitashirakawa, but it never focused on her as a character; rather it detailed about the shopping market as a whole instead. Director Yamada wanted to delve into Tamako herself, and given that the theme of the franchise is “love”, what better medium than an adolescent love story? Thus, Tamako Love Story was brought to life. The film opened on April 26, 2014 and was released on video disc October 10, 2014 (mochi day and Mochizo Ooji’s birthday). This is a review for the Japanese Blu-ray release of the film. My thoughts on the film itself can be found elsewhere.
Beginning over a year ago in April 2011, Hanasaku Iroha became my favorite show last year. The immense visual quality from P.A. Works combined with a wonderful growing up story was an absolute joy for me to view. While it had its ups and downs, overall it was a really well-done series. So now we finish the 9 Blu-ray volumes and conclude the series properly until our new work is released. BDInfo/Photobucket album
Last year, P.A. Works broadcast their tenth anniversary work [i]Hanasaku Iroha[/i] beginning in April. The show looked to be amazing throughout the first half, but some episodes near the middle of the series began to show faults. Volume 7 picks up from an amazing focus episode on Nako and starts the final arc of the show! BDInfo/Photobucket album
After the first 11 episodes had aired, it was evident that KyoAni had another huge success on their hands, and the first monster for TBS, with K-On! (Kadokawa had benefited with Haruhi and Lucky Star prior). Keeping with TBS tradition, the final episode that aired was labeled an “extra episode” (since it didn’t appear in the manga) and, like Clannad, there was a bonus episode that came on the final BD volume. The series was greatly anticipated when Bandai announced they had licensed the show at 2010’s Anime Expo and this is the final release of that license. BDInfo/Screencaptures
Originally created through discussions in 2008-2009 through Aniplex representatives and the main staff at Key, Angel Beats began airing to much hype in 2010. It would not be an adaptation from one of Key’s visual novels, but an original story instead. The script and most of the music would be created by Jun Maeda, the writer behind the novels Clannad, Air, and Tomoyo After while the designs would be created by Na-Ga, one of the later artists to join Key. The series would be a big hit in Japan, selling over 34,000 per volume. Sentai Filmworks licensed and released the series on BD/DVD for North American audiences this month. This review contains spoilers, but if you’d like a spoiler-free gallery, click here to go to my photobucket album.